Today I decided to create my entry for the wonderful challenge that @mountainjewel has created: What Does Your Forest Taste Like? Make Your Own Flowers, Weeds & More Herbal Vinegar for Spring!
This little adventure took me into the Acadian Forests of New Brunswick also known as my back yard!
I went outside with my basket, hori-hori knife, camera and scissors. I had to come back to the house and put my snowshoes on when my legs sank into the deep snow. I was being overly optimistic to try this adventure without them.
It started to snow a little bit but not to worry, spring is coming. Much like my own sluggish self, she's just been having trouble rousing herself. I can see little buds on the trees and lively citrus green tips on some of the spruce trees.
“Between every two pines is a doorway to a new world.” ~ John Muir
I really love our forest. There's a lot of moss, exposed roots and fungus everywhere. It has this mystical feeling to it. For this foraging project I focused on looking up. Normally I'd be looking down on the ground a lot for a project like this but with all that snow on the ground, most things are still hidden from us.
Here's what I found in the forest!
The spruce tips haven't really developed yet on most trees so just grabbed a few.
You'll find copious amounts of usnea dangling from trees like tinsel in these forests.
This is an old Yellow Birch and when you are looking for chaga, that's the place to look. I found some chaga conveniently near to the house and was going to cut some but then I looked up. Right above me was a massive tree hanging broken entangled in the canopy above. I promised to be careful when I am alone in the woods so I left it alone.
I have a place marked on our GPS to a grove with a big cache of Chaga but the path is currently a lake with running water. The reason that our dogs are coming home wet and smelly all makes sense now.
Early spring is very barren. Even the birch sap is holding back on flowing. I really didn't find much to work with in the forest. I decided to look around the yard on my way back to the house.
Narrow Leaf Plantain (I think) or maybe Dwarf Plantain.
I am really working on my plant identification. I'm not 100% sure I've nailed this but I am confident enough that it's edible because I've nibbled on it before.
I found some horseradish growing in a puddle of water and plucked it right out of the ground. We love horseradish and don't mind that it's spread to places it wasn't planted.
The oregano is starting to grow! Have I me4ntioned how much I love perennials? It's beautiful and the bees love it when it flowers. All the dead woody stems needs to be pruned. I'll do this tomorrow I think.
I decided to toss in some chaga, labrador tea and juniper berries. Although I didn't collect them fresh today, they come from our forest and this mixture just didn't seem exciting enough without adding some. I've never made such a "Woodsy" infusion before. This should be interesting. I'm wondering if those juniper berries will add a gin like flavour?
I added a little bit of each item into a mason jar and combined it with the goodness of our home-made apple cider vinegar with mother. This particular jar was just recently discovered in a cupboard. Its nice and strong. The mother in the jar was lovely and healthy.
RAW ACV with Mother
Everything Mixed Together
And here we go. We'll let this infusion sit for a week or so before straining.
Building a greener, more beautiful world one seed at a time.
Homesteading | Gardening | Frugal Living | Preserving Food| From Scratch Cooking|
Photo copyright: @walkerland